One of the most common problems with heating systems, particularly with furnaces, is sometimes it cycles on and off every few minutes, referred to as “short cycling”. Allison Air Conditioning, your HVAC expert, takes a closer look at why this happens and what you can do to fix it.
Causes of Short Cycling
An HVAC system, particularly a heating unit, works by gradually releasing hot air into the room and then turning off when the thermostat senses the room is at the right temperature. When the temperature drops, it cycles back on to release more heat. If the furnace repeats this cycle too fast—like every five minutes or so—there’s a problem with your heating system.
Many things can cause short cycling, the most common of which is a malfunctioning thermostat. Simply resetting, cleaning, or replacing its batteries usually corrects the problem, however, there are other thermostat troubleshooting steps you can do. Another common cause is an oversized furnace. Just like air conditioning systems, furnaces need to be properly sized for the room or home. An undersized furnace would be redlining at all times just to meet your heating requirements, while an oversized furnace would heat the room too fast, resulting in short cycles.
The Effects of Short Cycling
In addition to causing uncomfortably uneven temperatures in your home, HVAC short cycling puts your furnace under unnecessary amounts of stress. The additional wear and tear can shorten your furnace’s life span, resulting in frequent repairs, if not an unplanned replacement. Then there’s also the increase in energy consumption. A motor uses up more energy when starting up and shutting down than when it’s running, so when the furnace constantly turns off and on, it consumes significantly more energy.
In addition to cleaning, maintenance, and proper troubleshooting, it’s important to have a capable HVAC technician overseeing the furnace installation as well as its care and maintenance. In fact, by choosing the right furnace size at the point of purchase, you and your HVAC technician eliminate one of the most common causes of short cycling.
Do Not Shortchange Your HVAC: Call Allison Air Conditioning Now
To learn more about how a certified HVAC technician can help you with short cycling furnaces, call Allison Air Conditioning today at (951) 356-4224. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.